I just finished re-editing (and hence re-reading) EARTH for the first time in 20 years. (Dang that young feller could write…) I did tidy up errors in the not-so-great file sent to me by Penguin, when I got the rights back, under the 1976 Copyright Act…. but I resisted any temptation to alter my 50 year projections to the year 2038.
Why? Because EARTH is almost always on every list of Top Ten Novels That Predicted the Future. (It had web pages before there was a Web, or browsers, that I had to mock up myself in 1988. Other themes included: generational conflict over privacy. Floods of climate refugees. Melting glaciers and rising seas. Plus heat waves… and a mother planet that (some characters believe) is finally getting fed up. Plus many other predictive ‘hits.’
Anyway, I decided that inserting updates that conform closer to the world of 2023 would be cheating. Hence, my big predictive mistakes are also there! You’ll find several.
Anyway, while Open Road prepares for the novel’s re-release – with a gorgeous new cover! — in December or January — I’ll be posting some of those ‘predictive hits’ here… or just passages that I think you might enjoy. So, let’s get started!
The first excerpt from Earth is copied in below… one of the semi-poetical extracts or views into the world of 2038. Much as John Brunner did in his wonderful, still totally relevant classic Stand on Zanzibar.
This passage also has a video reading I posted to Youtube. In fact, you could read along as I recite it!